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Does shift to mobile mean Facebook's salad days are done? Not at all

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
May 2nd, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The most wonderful invention in the world will only appeal to a certain amount of people. Once everyone in the world for which the invention was made for has used this invention - what then? Will the invention have hit its peak, will there be no "future growth?" Will these people begin to move on? These questions seem to hold true for the social networking Web Site Facebook, which has seen a decline in popularity.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A headline in the Guardian newspaper recently read, "Facebook loses 10m users in US over last 12 months, says Nielsen." The article then went on to quote some big numbers. "Facebook has lost 10 million users in the U.S. and seen no growth in monthly visitors in the U.K. over the past year, according to data from market research firm Nielsen.

"Research shows that the number of unique visitors to the Facebook Web site from computers, Smartphone's and tablets has fallen from 153 million in March 2012 to 142 million in March this year, having peaked at 158 million last August."

It's certainly not all doom and gloom for Mark Zuckerberg's mutant progeny. The article later points out that while "the number of users accessing from personal computers is falling, while traffic from mobile devices is surging."

In other words, while Web site use might be heading down, it's due to the huge shift to mobile that is currently taking place.

The figures quoted in the article relates to traffic to Facebook.com from PCs, and not phones. While some mobile users still log in through the browser on their phone, Nielsen measures that traffic separately, and says those users are well outnumbered by the 99 million people who checked in through Facebook's Smartphone apps in the U.S. in March 2013. That is up from 62 million a year ago, and those extra 37 million well outnumber the 11 million fewer logins to the website.

Facebook is undergoing an amazing boom in mobile usage, highlighted by its quarterly results released.

Facebook a year ago barely had a mobile business. Facebook has disclosed how that has changed this week. Nearly one out of every three dollars it produces now comes from advertising on Smartphone's and tablets.

The shift came as the Menlo Park, California, company posted a 38 percent revenue rise to $1.46 billion in the first quarter from a year earlier, as net income rose 6.8 percent to $219 million.

Facebook's mobile-ad sales jumped 22 percent to $374 million from the prior quarter. The company said mobile-ad sales now form 30 percent of advertising revenue, up from 23 percent in the fourth quarter and 14 percent in the third quarter. Results were also buoyed by new targeting tools for advertisers and other new ad products.


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